Chapter 21 …

grief

I’m back. New England was both colorful and fun, but let’s go to the tape as Warner Wolf, a famous Washington sports broadcaster from the early 1970s, liked to say back then. Hey, not all the research I do for these stories actually ends up in them so I’ll take whatever opportunity I can to show off my bona fides 🙂

In last week’s chapter we got a peek at Jeff’s weekend. He spent the early hours of Saturday morning volunteering at the Metropolitan Youth Center (My Center), but no one showed up. After that he retreated to the Capitol Hill Gymnasium for a workout. We learned a bit about the different clienteles that used the gym and what Jeff thought of them.

Saturday afternoon brought a visit to a new mall in the Virginia suburbs where Jeff engaged in the great American pastime, shopping. Jeff accepted a dinner invitation with Richard and Ronald Saturday evening, but declined their offer to go bar hopping.

Sunday was apparently spent hiking in some nearby Maryland mountains, probably ones close to Camp David (although that wasn’t specifically mentioned). You have to wonder whether Ronald Reagan was up there at the time resting and relaxing while his minions were off wreaking havoc throughout the world.

Monday brought a return to the weekly work routines for Jeff. At the end of the day he drove over to the Whitman Walker Clinic in Adams Morgan and met with Ned Hillard, the counselor he had spoken to the previous Friday evening.

Surprisingly, the patient Hilliard was treating turned out to be Jimmy Barnes. Even more surprising, Jeff learned that Jimmy was afflicted with GRID (gay-related immune deficiency). Wow! Who could have seen that coming, at least back then?

The reason Hilliard wanted to meet with Jeff was to seek his help. Understaffed, underfunded, and overwhelmed with new clients similarly afflicted with what’s being called gay cancer, Ned wanted to know whether Jeff might be willing to help out with Jimmy. He was seeking help even though doing so required him to release patient information against medical protocols.

We learned a bit about where Jimmy had been in the interim. We’ll probably learn more at some later point. For his part Jeff is overwhelmed by what he’s learned. It dredges up a lot of old memories and feelings even while he has to try to stay focused on the present and what Ned Hilliard is asking of him.

In the end, Jeff agrees to think about helping Jimmy out and leaves the clinic dazed and confused. That’s where tonight’s story, which I’ve now posted at The Annex, picks up.

It’s probably asking too much to encourage you to have fun reading anymore. But hopefully you’ll find the reading interesting and engaging. Let me know if you do.

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